Date: November 9, 2017
Armed security officers shot dead 28 protestors while violently suppressing a demonstration in Asmara, Eritrea’s capital on 31 October. The demonstrators were objecting to the government’s attempts to enforce its 2014 plans to transform all private and religious schools into state-financed and administered “community” schools. The government says that Christian students will be banned from wearing any religious items like crosses “to prevent interreligious strife.”
The protesters included over 100 students from a Muslim school who were protesting the arrest of their Honorary President for criticising the government’s actions. Armed security officers arrested demonstrators, beat some with sticks, and shot at them with live ammunition. Soldiers were still seen patrolling the streets at around 5 pm. Some released protesters report that they were mistreated.
In September, a Christian school was ordered to immediately close and give a list of all its students to the authorities. When the school resisted, the government shut it down and arrested two Christian leaders.
Barnabas Aid’s own special report on Eritrea, published in March 2017, concluded that the government pursues a “specific policy of religious persecution” against Christians.
From Asmarino Independent here